Over the last year, Iran has played a growing role in the fight against ISIS. In Iraq, Iran has been supplying, training, and controlling several Militia groups. This has now been organized into one fighting force. And this fighting force has had a significant role in the fight around Mosul.
The Washington Times reports
Iran has positioned thousands of loyal Iraqi Shiite militia fighters around Mosul with a strategic goal of creating long-lasting armies inside Iraq that can also deploy as an expeditionary force to Syria, Yemen, and other contested regions, analysts say.
The Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah Brigades, Badr Organization, and other groups fall under the Baghdad-approved umbrella group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. These mostly Shiite groups — some moderate, some extremists — are distinct from but coordinate with the Iraqi regular army, police and counterterrorism units. The ultimate goal is the same: Evict the Sunni extremist group Islamic State from the country.
But the Iranian-backed groups, guided by on-the-ground advisers from the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ notorious Quds force, have regional goals as well. They are geared toward what the U.S. intelligence community sees as Tehran’s desire to dominate the region and blunt American influence.
The good news is that there is a regional nation taking part in the conflict. This has meant less need for American advisers. The bad news is that this means less influence for America in the region.
It is clear that our international influence has waned over the last eight years. This is nowhere more evident than in the Middle East. There both Iran and her ally Russia has stepped in to take a more active position.
Only time will tell what consequences the world and our nation will suffer for it.